Leprosy Mailing List – June 5th, 2011
Ref.: On NO account should the mother stop breast feeding.
From: M E Duncan, Peebles, Scotland, UK
Dear Dr Noto,
Thank you to Dr Al Aboud for is message (LML June 3rd, 2011) inquiring about recommendations for breastfeeding in mothers with leprosy. Herewith are a few brief comments.
In the pre-antibiotic era, Pedley [Nepal] published finding of M. leprae in breast milk. For women on treatment, especially on clofazimine, clofazimine passes freely into breast milk. Clofazimine is lipophillic. The mother should be advised that if the babe regurgitates milk, the milk may be the colour of strawberry icecream! This is normal and is evidence that the mother is taking her clofazimine and will protect the baby. The baby's skin may also become pigmented. The pigmentation will fade after the baby is weaned. On NO account should the mother stop breast feeding. The baby is far more likely to die of gastroenteritis [D&V] if he is bottle fed which is a tragedy.
Dr M E Duncan